Lighting Patterns and the Artist Voice: Back Lighting

Photography is about painting with light and, with that, creating mood, capturing the subject’s personality, telling the story…. So, here’s again a #tbt post on backlighting – lighting patterns and the artist’s voice. Hope you enjoy the read.

ALINA OSWALD

Lighting Patterns and the Artist Voice: Back Lighting

Using a specific lighting pattern can help define our photographic voice. In my previous post, I mentioned split lighting and how it can be used to evoke a certain mood and look, in particular in black-and-white portraits.

Today let’s look at backlighting. Backlighting creates silhouettes, thus enhancing the element of mystery in a photograph. It helps define the shape of a subject, without revealing any details about that subject. Personally, I find the results less (or another kind of) moody than those created by using split lighting–less moody because oftentimes there’s no hint of detail in the back-lit subject.

The Northeast blackout of 2003 revealed a spectacular silhouette of the Manhattan skyline, with not a glimpse of light in the subject, itself.

Silhouettes created by sunrise/sunset:

On a daily basis, the golden hour can create spectacular silhouettes–of buildings, skylines, people, and…

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